Saturday, September 12, 2015

What's Wrong With Your Face?


When learning about Ancient Greek drama in class I wanted to learn more about the mask that the actors wore on stage. The mask were used to exhib the emotions that actors were trying to protray. The facial expression were often exaggerated so that there would be no confusion for the audience. The actor could also reappear with a different mask, thus making him another character. Mask were also used to distinguish characteristics of the character, such as sex, social status, or age, even a change in appearance. An example of a change of appearance would be In the play Oedipus, the actor must have changed mask so that the audience would understand that he blinded himself and could no longer see. 

I also wondered what the mask would look like; here are some pictures.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I first looked at these photos, I didn't know if these masks were orinal and were therefore made of stone. So, I looked up what Greek masks were made of. They were typically made of lightweight materials like cloth, linen, cork, and even mud. Apparently some even had real hair on them to make them look more life like. Because of these flimsy materials, no original Greek masks actually survive today. The reason we know what Greek masks look like is because people have found vases and paintings from Ancient Greece depicting actors or worshippers in masks.

-madison cummings

Belin Manalle said...

I think it's so interesting that the people of Ancient Greece went through everything that they did with making masks in order to define the play's characters. As opposed to just allowing female characters to perform or just having more than 3 characters, they put extra work into making these elaborate masks so as to differentiate between characters and genders. Also, these 3 characters have to learn all of the lines of any other characters that they play along with their own main character. I feel as though it would be much easier to just change tradition so to speak. However, I would love to have seen one of these Greek plays. I think the masks and limited characters would make the experience completely different from a play that we'd see today.

Ashley Bossier said...

I was thinking about the masks that they wore back then and I was wondering why these still weren’t used. I kind of answered my own question when I was typing my question. Well for one, obviously, more people have joined the plays so there are a multitude of actors, not just three. But I think a big part of the not having masks any more is because costumes have replaced the masks. In modern day plays, the actors use their costumes and wigs to show which actor is female or male. Costumes also let the audience know which actors were rich and which actors were poor. One thing that modern times never addressed was the exaggerated facial expressions, this is not needed in theater now a days because the auditoriums are so much smaller than they were back in the day. I just thought it was interesting the changes made from 8th century BC to now.